Photo by Megan Eaves
Central Avenue was awash in a sea of color, smells and life when my husband and I arrived to the Nob Hill Nights street fair last night around 7:30 PM. Everywhere we turned, there were happy faces meeting and greeting other Nob Hill residents, checking out the food stands and shopping. Dogs trotted here and there next to their owners, excited by the rush of noise and nighttime goings-on. Everyone was having a good time.
Generally speaking, this second in a string of monthly evening street fairs along Historic Route 66 was a success. Although fewer people turned out than I expected to see, that simply made the whole evening feel more relaxed. We weren't battling crowds, but rather simply enjoying the feeling of walking down Central Avenue, car and noise-free.
Several vendors and performers had set up camp along the length of Central between Girard and Carlisle that was closed off to traffic. Among them, David Kaufman, certified Chef de Cuisine and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, was offering free samples of a new product: make-it-yourself cheese. He had made the mozzarella samples he was handing out earlier in the evening using a small contraption that boiled the milk, then cooked and drained the curd, producing a light, easy-to-eat mozzarella that wasn't half bad!
Further down Central, we encountered a yoga demonstration put on by practitioners from Ridgecrest Yoga. Promoting their student special offer ($30 1st month intro class), two svelt ladies had rolled out their yoga mats on the pavement and were practicing Downward Facing Dog and other beginning yoga poses right there on Central.
Many Nob Hill Nights patrons were sipping cups of steaming hot cocoa offered by Scalo Northern Italian Grill for a mere $1. Others were checking out the various street entertainment options, including several bands and street performers that were drumming, dancing, singing and even juggling fire. Under orange street lamps, the shops aglow with light and the hum of shoppers, the whole street took on a delightfully whimsical air.
Parking was not a problem. Although many people seemed to have parked in the three designated upper Nob Hill lots (those ones right behind Scalo on Silver Ave), I opted to try for street parking and found the perfect spot on Carlisle, just off Central. It was a 30-second walk to the fair. The weather, as well, was wonderful - just cool enough for a jacket but not cold enough for a coat.
If you missed out, Nob Hill Nights takes place on the first Thursday of every month, with next month's street fair happening on December 3. As the annual 'Shop and Stroll' event, that will be the perfect time to seek out some unique Christmas gifts with a Nob Hill flair. Hope to see you there!